“Why is my dog restless?” This is the question most pet owners ask when they observe that their dog doesn’t seem to be their usual self. You see your pooch pacing back and forth, looking agitated and unable to sit still.

You know there’s something wrong, but you can’t pinpoint what is causing your beloved pooch to behave uncharacteristically. You want to get on top of the situation before it becomes serious.

Read on to find out why your dog is restless and can’t get comfortable.

Reasons Why Your Dog Is Restless

Dogs become agitated for many reasons, and as a pet owner, even if you have known your dog since it was a pup, it can still be challenging and somewhat frustrating. Your top priority is understanding why your dog is restless.

Professionals have categorized dog restlessness into either a behavioral or medical cause. There’s only a very minimal margin for these two, but here’s an overview and how it can help you differentiate why your dog is fidgety.

1. Behavioral Reasons

  • Your Dog Is Stressed Or Afraid

One of the most significant factors that can cause your dog to be stressed or afraid is loud noises. This is very apparent during New Year’s Eve and when there’s rain and thunderstorms. During these times, your dog is on high alert and will feel unsettled.

The good news is, when the loud noises stop, your dog will eventually relax, stop its non-stop pacing and settle down by returning to its normal behavior.

  • Your Dog Is Experiencing Separation Anxiety

This is expected behavior if your dog is used to having human companionship most of the time, and then suddenly, it is left alone for extended hours during the day.

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When the dog senses that you are about to leave or sees signs like you getting dressed or preparing your bag, signs of restlessness will show. And when you wonder, “Why is my dog restless and walking around?” and find a pattern which manifests minutes before you leave the house, this is the probable cause.

  • Your Dog Is Bored

Why is my dog so restless all of a sudden? When you are bored, you become nervous, right? Boredom and the lack of mental and physical stimulation for your canine can also cause it to become restless. 

To let out that pent-up energy, your dog will end up pacing around your house, looking for any stimulation. This is a sign that a trip to the dog park is due or that it is time for some new dog toys.

  • Your Dog Needs Some TLC From You

My dog is acting weird and restless; what’s wrong? It may have been several weeks since you last played with your dog, and you have not showered your attention-seeking pet any cuddles, pets, or TLC for some time now.

  •  Your Dog Needs To Pee Or Poo

If your dog is restless and panting and keeps coming to the door, remember how often you let your pet out to relieve themselves.

House-trained dogs become restless when they need to go out but, for some reason, can’t do that. Their training shows that they need to do their business outside, and not being able to do so can cause them to worry and get distressed.

  • Your Dog Hears (Or Smells) Something

With an impressive sense of smell and hearing, your dog may be detecting something from the outside, and it can only settle down if it determines the source of the sound or smell. 

  • Your Dog Is Trying To Adapt To Its Environment
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If there have been recent changes to your family setting and dynamics, like moving to a new house, your dog may still be trying to transition and appear restless.

2. Medical Reasons

  • Your Dog Is In Pain

One common reason why your dog is panting and restless is that it is in pain or that something is bothering it. If it has been sitting for too long, it can worsen the pain and cause discomfort.  

Look for other symptoms like your dog limping, whining, or aggressively licking a particular spot, as these are additional telltale signs that your pet is not physically well.

  • Your Dog Is Being Bothered By Fleas.

Another possible answer to why my dog is so restless and can’t get comfortable is fleas.

Being itchy in almost all places on your body is uncomfortable and can make you restless. When your dog has fleas, it won’t be able to sit still because it wants to get some relief from all the itching and biting from the fleas.

Until you get treatment for your dog’s flea infestation, you will have to deal with an itchy, bothered, and restless canine.

  • Your Dog Has Worms

When your dog has worms, they’ll experience itching, but they’ll also be in constant or intermittent pain. Your pet may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other gut health issues, which can cause them to get agitated. This is one different answer to your question, “Why is my dog restless?”

  • Your Dog Was Possibly Poisoned

Ingestion of toxins and poisons can be detrimental to canines, and your dog won’t fully understand what’s happening in its system. So, it may appear panicked and restless, in pain and confusion.

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Signs like vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions are signs that your dog ingested something that it shouldn’t have, and its body is trying to expel these toxins. So as pet owners, you have to know which foods are toxic for your dogs. Can dogs eat plums? Or avocados and cherries?

  • Neurological Tumors

Brain tumors are also a possible reason why your dog is acting confused and restless. They may also experience symptoms like trembling, hearing loss, vision loss, and uncharacteristic and constant pacing. Older dogs are more susceptible to brain tumors.

  • Cushing’s Disease

Again, this disease comes with age, and when your dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, its body produces plenty of unwanted cortisol. This stress hormone affects your dog’s behavior, causing aggression and agitation.

  • Canine Cognitive Disorder

“My dog is acting weird and restless at night. Why?Confusion and restlessness are two symptoms of canine dementia, which may account for the situation. This is often one reason why your dog is restless at night and why they wake up disoriented and unfamiliar with their surroundings.

How Do You Fix A Restless Dog?

The first thing to do is figure out the cause—behavioral or medical.

If it is medical, get your dog checked by your veterinarian, who will provide a management plan and maintenance medicines. To address your dog’s behavior, you can make some adjustments in your home.

Ease a dog’s restlessness at night due to dementia by turning the lights down low in its resting area.  

If it is due to behavioral reasons, most of these will go away on their own. Your dog will be able to cope with their agitation with minimal intervention from you. Simply give your dog some time to adjust and plenty of affection.


Now you know all the possible answers to your question, “Why is my dog restless?” So you can already take the necessary steps to make your dog feel safe, loved, and protected.